Davis police have arrested a 25-year-old man in connection with Saturday’s sexual assault and robbery on the Davis Community Church grounds, thanks to a phone call from an alert citizen.
Christopher Lynn Romone Turk, a transient, was lodged at the Yolo County Jail on Monday night on charges of sexual assault, robbery, burglary, false imprisonment and sexual battery, Lt. Glenn Glasgow said. He is being held in lieu of $150,000 bail, and his arraignment is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in Yolo Superior Court.
Police said the alleged assault occurred at about 11:20 a.m. Saturday as the victim, a 34-year-old woman, searched the church grounds at 412 C St. for an animal adoption center.
While there, she reportedly was confronted by a man who brandished a pair of scissors at her, then assaulted her before fleeing with some of the woman’s personal property. The Davis Police Department issued a news release about the crime on Sunday, along with the suspect’s description.
At about 2:20 p.m. Monday, police got a call from a citizen who reported seeing a man matching the suspect’s description in The Marketplace shopping center on West Covell Boulevard. Officers took him into custody, and during a search reported finding physical evidence “which connected Turk to the incident,” Glasgow said.
He declined to elaborate.
Glasgow said Davis police have had no past criminal dealings with Turk, but added that investigators were following up on several leads on the assault throughout the weekend, “and he was one of them.”
Turk does, however, have a criminal record in Sacramento County, where online records show he was arrested three times in 2012 — first for vehicle theft and possession of stolen property in April, and again in October and December for defrauding an innkeeper, meaning he allegedly took food, lodging or other services without paying for them.
The auto theft case resolved with a no-contest plea for which Turk received a 90-day jail term and three years’ probation, and he was due in court for arraignment Feb. 4 on the misdemeanor defrauding an innkeeper charges, court records show.
Turk is not believed to be responsible for another sexual assault that occurred on the night of Oct. 18 at Fourth and J streets, Glasgow said. That incident remains under investigation.
Davis Community Church pastors on Monday released a statement saying neither Turk nor his alleged victim are members of the church community, and that no services or other programs were going on at the church at the time of the incident.
“We are saddened and angered that this beautiful and sacred space has been used by one human being to harm another,” the Revs. Mary Lynn Tobin and Bill Habicht said in the statement. They added that the crime has prompted the church to “continue a process of examining our safety precautions.”
“Davis Community Church has a long history of providing space for many groups in the community. It is easy to consider DCC as a safe place because it is so familiar,” the pastors said.
“However, it is important for everyone to take every precaution to ensure safety of self and others, as you would anywhere. Always be watchful and vigilant. If you are using the church, be sure to lock doors behind you, and, if at all possible, don’t be on the property alone.”
— Reach Lauren Keene at email@example.com or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene